Technique:

Mounting Embroidery on Art Canvas

I have seen a lot of stitchwork mounted in frames or in embroidery hoops, but I live in an apartment that is lofty and a little industrial, so I wanted a simpler and more modern way to display my work.

Supplies and Equipment:
– embroidered fabric
– artist’s stretched canvas (I used something similar to Blick Studio Mini 3/8″ Profile Cotton Canvas)
– thread
– needle
– scissors
– mat board (optional)
– sawtooth hanger or other art hanging hook (optional)
– archival/acid free glue (optional)

 

Artist’s Canvas:
Canvas is usually either side stapled or back stapled. Either is fine for this application. The tiny canvases I used are actually glued, that’s okay, too. You could choose to just use stretcher bars and mount your embroidery on that, but it is higher risk and the white canvas seemed to brighten up what I mounted on it. You could also use a block of wood, especially for small pieces like this, or for very heavy embroidery.

 

Planning Ahead
Before you start your stitchwork you need to do some planning. First, acquire what you plan to mount it on. You need to plan your work so that it will look good on the front and the edges. The display area needs to be the face of the canvas plus the edges. My canvas is 2×4 inches by .375 inches deep. That means I had to make sure I had 2.75 by 4.75 of display area. Or, in other words – .375+2+.375 by .375+4+.375 – all visible from the front or sides. In addition to that, you’ll need at least another .75 inches per side to pull the work across the back. All in all, my fabric had to be 4.25 by 6.25 to fit my 2×4 inch canvas.

 

I added a basting line around the edge of what would be visible before I started.

Cut the embroidered fabric to the size you determined before.

On the edges of the fabric mark where the face of the canvas ends – in my case, the 2×4 inch part of the piece.

Thread the needle and tie the end. Start sewing across the back, catching both sides evenly as shown.

Keep stitching back and forth, making sure the canvas stays in place the way you want it to. Periodically readjust the stitches. You’re trying to make the sure fabric is neatly and evenly stretched over the front of the canvas.

When you get to the end tie off your thread. (If you run out of thread part way across just tie off and start a new thread.)

Neatly folding the corners is important to this looking nice. Crease the fabric to the edge following the line formed by the face of the canvas.

Wrap that edge around to the back, neatly folding the fabric in.

The corner should look like this. Keep re-folding until you have worked out the corner the way you want it to look. Work this out for every corner.

Start stitching these two sides together. Finesse the fabric so that the folded sides don’t show from the front.

I sewed from one end to half way, then from the other end to half way. If you have fabric sticking out like I do at the lower right hand corner just tuck it under.

 

I’m setting this on a ledge so I stopped here, but if you want to hang this on the wall cut a piece of mat board 1/4 inch smaller than the canvas. Glue a hanger to the piece of mat board and glue the mat board to the back of the canvas with an archival/acid free glue.